RuPaul's Drag Race Season 16 Release Date Schedule (Confirmed)

By Richard Nebens Posted:
RuPaul, RuPaul's Drag Race

Fans learned new information about the upcoming release schedule for Season 16 of RuPaul's Drag Race on MTV.

RuPaul's Drag Race jumpstarted the drag race franchise in February 2009, documenting RuPaul's search for the best drag queens in the USA as he hosts the show while mentoring and judging competitors yearly.

Moving to MTV for Season 15 in 2023, the series ranks as the highest-rated program in Logo TV history. It has earned seven consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Reality/Competition Host and has won four straight years as a reality competition program.

Season 16 will feature 14 new contestants competing for the title of "America’s Next Drag Superstar," which comes with a cash prize of $200,000 as well.

When Will RuPaul's Drag Race Season 16's Episodes Release?

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MTV confirmed the upcoming release schedule for Season 16 of RuPaul's Drag Race.

All episodes debut on MTV every Friday at 8 p.m. ET and follow the 90-minute format for TV episodes.

The schedule for Episode 2 through Episode 5 can be seen below:

  • Episode 2: Friday, January 12
  • Episode 3: Friday, January 19
  • Episode 4: Friday, January 26
  • Episode 5: Friday, February 2

While unconfirmed, it's expected that Season 16 will consist of 16 episodes, which was the case for both Seasons 14 and 15.

What Will Happen in RuPaul's Drag Race Season 16?

As Episode 1 of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 16 only just aired on January 5, introducing the first seven queens as they performed in "MTV's Spring Break" talent show for guest judge Charlize Theron, the drama is set to unfold quickly.

Episode 2 will bring the second set of seven competitors into the spotlight in "Queen Choice Awards," with the new additions participating in their talent show performances before unwinding together in the Untucked lounge. Pop singer Becky G will also be included as a celebrity judge.

Episode 3 ("The Mother of All Balls") will bring the two groups together with tension rising as the competitors use their design skills for a pageant of mother-inspired couture as fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi takes a spot on the judging panel.

The queens will then take part in a live show in Episode 4 as they explore their penchant for humor, taking inspiration from Saturday Night Live in Tuckahoe, New York for their take on TV's comedy mainstay. This episode will also feature SNL alum and Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar as a guest judge.

In Episode 5 ("Girl Groups"), the competition will push the queens to write and perform their verses to songs from RuPaul's latest musical album "Black Butta," which will be judged by Swedish synth-pop duo Icona Pop.

With plenty of high-level drag queens in the mix and a few months of stiff challenges ahead, drag fans worldwide will surely be enthralled as RuPaul and his celebrity guests add a new chapter to the reality competition legacy.

RuPaul's Drag Race Season 16 will continue with Episode 2 on Friday, January 12 at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.